Movements of adult Atlantic salmon through a reservoir above a hydroelectric dam: Loch Faskally

A R D Gowans, J D Armstrong, I G Priede

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Movements of adult Atlantic salmon were determined as they migrated through Loch Faskally, a 4-km long hydroelectric reservoir in North-east Scotland. The horizontal and vertical movements of four salmon were monitored for periods of 4-7 days using depth-sensing acoustic transmitters in June-July 1995. Each fish began sustained directed upstream movements within 5.5 h after release at swimming speeds of 0.15-0.40 bl s(-1). Three fish reached the head of the loch after 7.25-17 h, but then returned downstream. The four fish remained in the upper half of the loch for 15-51 days, making localized movements. Mean depths of fish were 3.7-4.0 m (max 20.7 m). Two fish were recorded at significantly shallower depths at night than during the day. Departure from the loch coincided with periods of high water flow into the reservoir. In May-July 1996, 17 radio-tagged salmon entered Loch Faskally and reached the head of the loch in 3 h-5.8 days (mean 39 h). The durations of stay in the loch varied from 3 h 50 min to 67.4 days (mean 10.9 days). Only two radio-tagged salmon left the loch under conditions of high water flow into the loch. (C) 1999 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-740
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Atlantic salmon
  • migration
  • hydroelectric reservoir
  • telemetry
  • swimming depth

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